Colleen: This I gotta see.
Cindy: A … uh … Monkee suit so to speak!
…takes the stage… the lights dim… He approaches the podium, opens his book, dodges the assorted fruit and paper airplanes thrown by his cohorts sitting in the audience, and begins to read.] Ahem...."It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”
Colleen: Who writes this stuff?
Cindy: It kind of writes itself, don’cha think?
Shane: Yes, this quote from A Tale of Two Cities, (with all due apologies to Dickens), seems a perfect place to start this latest adventure. And while I doubt that the cities of Bettendorf and Arlington Heights were around when the story was written, there seems little doubt that this passage sums up our experience this time quite well. How could a show where things seemed to go wrong end up finishing so right? But I get ahead of myself. Let us start at the beginning, and for that, we must delve back a few months to Bonnie and her wonderful idea of honoring the memory of David's prize racehorse, Digpast.
Cindy: See the In Memory of Digpast section.
Shane: Since we were unable to determine for sure whether or not David had gotten an opportunity to visit Digpast’s gravesite prior to our road trip to Arlington Heights, we had made some plans to use this show as our way of letting him know what we had done. Bonnie had put together a wonderful certificate on her computer, complete with a nice picture of the tree, detailing the steps we had taken, and had purchased a beautiful frame (with purple flowers all around the edges), that we had initially intended to have put backstage for David at the Frontier Days festival. More about that later.
Colleen: And what a nice shell it is.
Cindy: But sometimes “The GIRLS” just have to come out!
Shane: as well as Cindy's niece, Micki, who we've heard so much about over the years and was so much a part of the early days of the PFG, and I guess you could say that I was pretty stoked!
Bonnie: Remember, Shane, this is a no-smoking organization!
Shane: Janet Litterio, who we met for the first time at the Peoria show last November, was going to be waiting for us in Arlington Heights, as well, and we were all looking forward to seeing her again over the weekend, too.
Janet: Peoria was wonderful, beyond words actually, but I was looking forward to this show, as this was my first trip as an official member of “The Road Crew.”
Tom was looking forward to this too!
Shane: My trip started as it usually does (say it with me kiddies), on that darling of mass public transit, the Grayhound…
Colleen: Shane, isn’t that Grey with an “e”? Or is that how they spell it up there in the Nort country?
Shane: …okay, okay the GrEyhound bus, the day before the 4th. I was expecting the worst, with it being a holiday and all. And yes, I have to admit that the terminal in Chicago was the busiest that I had seen it in quite some time, but believe it or not, I was blessed with some really capable drivers this time around, and my bus into the Quad Cities arrived right on the dot. Not any earlier than expected, mind you, but not any later, either.
Cindy: Kimmi came in that afternoon and we spent the evening visiting with the Borgh’s, eating spinach enchiladas (excellent Bonnie!), and watching Monkee videos while waiting for Shanie to arrive.
Shane: I called Cindy on my cell phone as we were starting to come in through the area so she and Kimmi (who had come in to help get the party started that afternoon),
Kimmi: How nice of you to remember me. :P Next time I'll have to leave a harder impression!
Shane: were able to come and pick me up when I got into Davenport without them having to wait at the terminal for me for an inordinate amount of time. Once I arrived, we were off to the nearest fast food place, so I could clog my arteries with grease before bed, (although the brownies that Bonnie had given to Cindy and Kimmi earlier in the evening to give to me were ever so much better!) and then to the hotel to drop me off for the night. Cindy and Kimmi, along with Micki, had reservations booked at the same place for the next night. We stayed at a new place in the Quad Cities this time--Jumer's Lodge--interesting place. Very nice hotel rooms; mine had a canopy bed! Never slept in one of those before!
Colleen: Shane, I thought only girls slept in canopy beds?
Kimmi: Princess Shanie. He's no Michael Nesmith!
Shane: I guess you oughta tell that to the reservations manager, then. They sure didn't ask me if I'd like a feminine or a masculine bed in my room!
Bonnie: It was nice of you all to stay in Bettendorf because “The Lodge” (formerly known as “Jumer’s Castle Lodge”) is closer to our house. Of course, it really didn’t matter because the Borgh family was never able to visit you at your home away from home anyway. I think it was a cheaper rate, too. (Dollars for Davy!)
Shane: The next morning, I slept in quite late,
Colleen: and all by yourself in your canopy bed…
Bonnie: Yes, Shane, and you missed your golden opportunity to watch the annual Bettendorf Fourth of July Parade. You could have had enough Tootsie Rolls to last you until Halloween!
Shane: … figuring (rightly so) that it would be the last opportunity to do so on this particular trip. So I got up late, meandered about, ate the pop tarts that Cindy and Kimmi had given to me as "giftie supplies", and watched the Weather Channel.
Bonnie: “The Weather Channel”! A man after my own heart! Did you happen to catch our local meteorologist, Erik Maitland, on KWQC? (We’ve skated together at the Quad City Sports Center. Nice guy.)
Shane: No, I didn't, sorry! I was thinking on a more "global" scale. The weather had been a bit of a pre-occupation with me that entire week, since most of the weather forecasts seemed to hint at a chance of strong thunderstorms in our part of the Midwest for most of our time together. (As luck would have it, the only real time I encountered any rain at all was on my return trip back home, but of course I didn't know that then.) This morning I was glad I was where I was for the time being, as it appeared as though we were getting some pretty rough storms back home in Wisconsin. But yet, it was a very hot and sticky 4th of July, and the girls …
Colleen: Ah yes, the girls - more about that later in the story.
Shane: …kept telling me that before the weekend was over it was gonna get much hotter...
Bonnie: That’s a fact! It’s that Jones front coming in to heat up the Midwest.
Janet: I think we just about predicted the exact time David’s flight landed as we felt extreme heat in the afternoon. And NO, it was not hot flashes!!
Shane: Around 10:00 or so, housekeeping knocked on my door to make up my room,
Colleen: New sheets and all on that canopy bed.
Shane: so I ducked out
Colleen: Quack, Quack
Shane: for a few minutes, and tried calling Cindy on my cell phone to see how she was progressing with Kimmi and Micki. Little did I know that they had just arrived in the front lobby and were checking in!
Cindy: Kimmi bunked on my couch on Thursday night and Micki joined us when she got off work. We were off bright (well some of us were not as bright as others, were we Kimmi?) and early the next morning …after removing something like a ton of debris from Kimmi’s trunk to make room for luggage. I always wondered what it was like to be one of those street people who scavenge through dumpsters!
Kimmi: Where do you think your Christmas presents come from?
Shane: So, I rushed right down and helped them get settled. Their first room had an air conditioner that wasn't working quite right, so after determining that changing rooms would be the best idea, we moved around again, and then proceeded to spend the day out shopping, eating WAY too much, (our usual haunt on these road trips, Lunardi's, was closed for the holiday, so we settled for Olive Garden), watching movies, (may we recommend Bruce Almighty? There are several new lines that are going to wind up in our PFG lexicon...especially the bit about "jazz music")
Bonnie: I was wondering where that “jazz music” line came from on your e-mail messages. I didn’t think it had anything to do with Bix (who by the way hails from Davenport, Iowa.)
Shane: and watching fireworks with the Borgh family at a park
Bonnie: (It was basically a park-ing lot.)
Shane: in Bettendorf. (It was the best of times.) I had bought a small little stash of fountains and sparklers with me from home, as well, and we had a good time shooting those off at the park before the big stuff filled the sky.
Bonnie: Hannah really enjoyed those, by the way, but you’re totally corrupting our child with explosive devices!
Kimmi: That was the best!! Wheee!!!!!
Shane: Once we finally found our way out of the post-fireworks traffic (it was the worst of times), and made our way back to hotel, it was just about time to call it a day, as we had a busy schedule ahead of us for Saturday! The plan was to meet Colleen for breakfast at the Isle Of Capri buffet, (this is the hotel/casino where we have had so many great memories seeing David before), head over to the florists' to grab some backstage flowers for David, and then make our way over to Bonnie's place in order to get her clan together in her car and then hit the road for Arlington Heights!
Saturday morning found us up bright and early at 6:30 (I think it was even a bit earlier than that, actually) and heading over to the boat for breakfast. Originally, Colleen's mom, (who she was visiting with in the Quad Cities while we cavorted about the day before) was going to join us as well but backed out at the last minute. Apparently, our reputation precedes us! ;-)
Colleen: You got that right … ;-)
Shane: But Colleen joined us in short order, while Kimmi gambled on the boat, losing her life savings, and then rejoined us only to decide that she wanted breakfast too, after we all had finished. Fickle, fickle, fickle.....
Colleen: Boy we were glad that the boat didn’t cruise that morning, unlike it did that one September morn a couple of years ago. It was the worst of times, wasn’t it Cindy?
Cindy: I have a new respect for ships after seeing Pirates Of The Caribbean my friend! Savvy?
Kimmi: Welcome to the Caribbean, Luv!!
Bonnie: Who was it that said, “If you remember ‘those events’, you weren’t really there?”
Janet: Micky Dolenz????????
Bonnie: Sorry dear, wrong Monkee.
Cindy: Memory is the second thing to go you know! By the way, Micky DID say it first …the little Monkee stole it from him!
Shane: After the boat, and the quick stop at the flower shop to pick up our nice bunch of roses, we stopped at Bonnie's, where everybody was scattering all over the place getting last minute things ready. I should point out that Grandpa Borgh was staying with the family that week, visiting from Minnesota, as well, so there was an extra person to help get ready. The plan was for him and Craig to visit the racetrack in Arlington Heights while the rest of us went to the festival.
Kimmi: Grandpa rocks. Hannah and I had fun beating him with the pillows!
Bonnie: Yes, Craig was adamant about wanting to leave by 8:30 am (no later than 9:00 am) because my husband and his father wanted to get to “the track” when it opened at 1:00 pm. Meanwhile, guess who had to stop for money at the ATM and then gasoline for the car before we finally got out of Dodge?
Shane: So, off we go, with the Borgh's in one car and the rest of us in Kimmi's car (with the great sound system). Micki, Colleen, and I managed to cram in the back seat without too much of a problem. Hey, we've done it before, …and we had the cell phones to keep in contact with each other as we went along. Things were going pretty smoothly…
Colleen: …once we passed exit 41 on East I-88. See the carload I was riding with threatened to throw me out there. You see I made the mistake of mentioning that we ought to stop off and visit the birthplace of Ronald Reagan. Poor Hannah thought they had thrown me out, but they didn’t. Cindy, you shouldn’t scare little people like that.
Cindy: Damn Republicans!
Bonnie: Excuse me, I resemble that remark! I forgot about that, Colleen! Yes, Hannah did think you were thrown out the window, Colleen. We would have visited Ronald Reagan’s birthplace with you!
Cindy: And be late for Davy Jones! Ronald Reagan is NO Davy Jones!
Bonnie: You do have a point there.
Shane: There was no bad weather or foreseeable traffic delays, when all of a sudden I hear an ugly cry of pain next to me in the back seat. Have any of you ever seen the movie Alien, where an ungodly monsters pops out of somebody's chest? Well, this is what I thought was going to happen here. Poor Micki sounded like she was going to give birth or something! But when you gotta go, you gotta go, and I guess she had to go! I know it must have been hell for her, but the rest of us were just about ready to die laughing...we had to take an exit off the highway just before our planned rest stop in Dixon, IL…
Colleen: Uh Shane, I think you meant to say DeKalb.
Shane: DeKalb, Dixon, I knew it was a "D" town…We found a place where she could run in and do her thing. We managed to find a Best Western or some such hotel close by, and man, you should have seen her wobble to that door, hunched over like an old lady! If only we had taken photos ....what were we thinking?! :-) (It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, depending on whom you ask!) Cindy couldn't even tell Bonnie what was happening when she called on the cell phone. We had to wait until our stop in Dixon…
Colleen: Shane - DeKalb, it was DeKalb!
Shane: …until we could stop laughing enough to explain it!
Cindy: It truly wasn’t funny but I bet next time Micki will rethink the giant glass of juice at breakfast! And I felt bad for her until she waddled into that hotel to use the facilities and that was all it took. I could not stop laughing …poor kid! God knows this group always manages to latch on to your one less than shining moment and torture you with it until your dying day!
Bonnie: I didn’t quite understand the humor at the time, but I guess you had to be there.
Cindy: It “depends” on your vantage point in this situation!
Shane: It wasn't much longer after that rest break that we reached our destination of Arlington Heights, and it turned out that our hotel, the AmeriSuites, was very easy to find off the highway. Checking in proved to be a different kettle of fish, however.
Colleen: “Kettle of fish?” OK, that must be Nort country jive.
Shane: No, Colleen, that would be "keg of beer"...There was only one poor, over-stressed guy working the front desk, and with each of us trying to check in under our own reservations, it made the going slow. Add to that the fact that Janet Litterio, who had made her own rezzie at the AmeriSuites, and would be joining us shortly, was told that David was staying at OUR hotel overnight,
Janet: And in case you were wondering, I did NOT ask. When I made our rezzie, I was quoted a room rate. When I mentioned we were staying over because we were going to see Davy Jones at Frontier Days, the gal at the desk said ‘well why didn’t you say that in the first place?” I felt like I was talking to the Wizard of Oz…but I didn’t remember going “Over the Rainbow.” She lowered our rate by $20 and said that ‘Davy’ was staying here. Poor girl is now probably out of a job…we probably should send her the $20 we saved. This was the second time we went on a road trip to see David, and the second time mentioning to the hotel we were staying over after one of his concerts, and was the second time when mentioning his name our room rates were lowered. Thanks David, you saved us some money!
Shane: and well ....I don't think the poor front desk clerk knew what hit him. Before you could say "Daydream Believer", we were handing him flowers, cards, the framed certificate for Digpast’s tree ....we just figured that having these things in David's room when he showed up, in a place we knew he was going to be, would be a lot safer than handing it over to somebody at the festival who may or may not put the stuff in a safe place. And since we *really* wanted David to learn about Digpast’s tree, we thought that this was the safest route. (It was the age of wisdom.) I just found it "Hard to Believe" that the hotel staff was so forthright about the facts of David's stay at the hotel...I work at a hotel, too, and most of the time I don't even know when somebody "important" is staying there, and it certainly isn't hotel policy to share that info. Go figger, huh?
Bonnie: That whole scene is unbelievable. I was unable to e-mail for several nights because Craig was diligently pursuing on-line the best accommodations for our dollar in Arlington Heights. He was toggling between wanting to stay at the Embassy Suites (which included swimming pools, no movie stars) or the AmeriSuites (which included no swimming pools, movie stars). No, seriously, the Embassy Suites offered a swimming pool and buffet breakfast whereas the AmeriSuites offered no swimming pool and buffet breakfast. However, if you booked the special “Make a Break For It” weekend rate of $69, you also got a free red, white, and blue beach ball. That sealed the deal. We had absolutely NO idea until several days before the show when Janet made her reservation that she was told that “Davy Jones” was also staying there. (I thought that sort of information was confidential, too, but what do I know about the hotel business? I know even less about show business.) Do you know how many hotels there are in the Arlington Heights slash Chicago-land area? What are the odds Craig would pick the same one?
Cindy: Sometimes things just are meant to be.
Janet: The operative words here “WAS TOLD” as in voluntarily being told without being asked! Craig now has a new job….the official hotel chooser for road trips. He’ll be sorry!
Shane: So, we finally get settled in our rooms...I figure out how the handle on my door works, so I can actually get IN my room (it was the age of foolishness)…
Colleen: Did your room have a canopy bed?
Shane: Jealous, Colleen? …we find Grandpa Borgh after he wandered away down to the convenience store down the street,
Kimmi: We? There's that selective memory.
Shane: and greet Janet and her husband Tom who met us at the hotel. It should be pointed out here that Janet and Tom, who happen to live in the Chicago area, showed up earlier in the day at the festival and saved us some seats…
Bonnie: …Purple Flower comforter slash blanket seating…
Janet: I like things well-coordinated slash organized!!!
Shane: as close to the stage as they could get. (It was the epoch of belief.)
Colleen: A new word for Shane - epoch.
Shane: Apparently, the way things are run at this festival is vastly different from the way most others are. It seems as though about half the population of Arlington Heights was just poised at the ready, waiting for the previous evening's act to finish up, so that they could claim spots for David the following evening once the clean-up process was through. And since lawn chairs were not allowed in front of the stage (where they came up with that rule I'll never know--it was the epoch of incredulity)…
Colleen: There it is again.
Shane: gotta love the classics.....
Janet: The amount of blankets when we arrived a little after 11 was incredulous! It must have looked like a giant quilt from an aerial view…from a ground view, there was a sea of blankets.
Shane: …all they had to do was spread blankets out on the ground to sit on. So, when Janet and Tom showed up earlier that day, they found quite a few patches of "staked turf" already, but managed to squeeeeeze us in a few good spots as best they could.
Cindy: It certainly was not the best-organized situation I have ever been in.
Shane: After we worked out some transportation issues at the hotel (who was riding with who, where exactly is the park, etc. etc.), and saw Craig and Grandpa Borgh off to the racetrack, the remainder of the afternoon was an exercise in patience and tolerance of the heat and humidity at the Frontier Days festival. Kimmi and Hannah were on a mission to indulge in as much junk food in an afternoon as humanly possible. First it was the cotton candy, and then it was the slushies…
Kimmi: No, no, no. It was cotton candy, then hotdogs, more cotton candy, Italian Ices, cotton candy, more hotdogs and more cotton candy. Oh what a night! Then blowing bubbles on Shanie's head and then spinning really fast until we fell down. Good times.
Bonnie: Those “Italian Ice” drinks were good! I had “cherry” flavor, Hannah had “lemon”, and I think Colleen had “watermelon”.
Shane: …and Lord knows what other goodies the two of them snuck in when they were perusing the fair. Most of the rest of us just hung out, talked with a few people we recognized from past shows, and waited it out. As always, I had brought a book with me to help pass the time.
Colleen: “Tale of Two Cities”?
Bonnie: No, I think it was “War and Peace”.
Cindy: “They Made A Monkee Out Of Me” slash “Daydream Believin’”?
Shane: "The Gunslinger" by Stephen King...the newly revised and expanded version. You gotta read this before "Wolves Of The Calla" comes out in November, or you'll miss an important plot point! Somewhere in mid-afternoon, David's band showed up for sound check and treated us all to a small taste of some of the music for that evening, but da big man himself was nowhere to be found.
Janet: He may have been petting my friend’s dog back at the hotel around that time. They tried to sell their poor dog Maggie on Ebay, and are considering changing her name to Valleri after being petted by Davy Jones.
Bonnie: Don’t you know by now that “stars” never do sound checks! Right, Cindy?
Cindy: Oh …uh …yeah …RIGHT!
Shane: Perhaps he was back at the hotel at that very moment, discovering the goodies we had left for him. We could only hope. By the time evening had arrived, Kimmi's friend, Jane ,…
Bonnie: Excuse me, Shane, but I thought her name was Susan.
Cindy: Just ask Hannah!
Shane: yeah, you're right. But it's no worse than when Kimmi called Cindy's friend Dawn, Emma in the newsletter!
Kimmi: It's only funny when I do it.
Shane: Kimmi knows Susan through a different band's following
Kimmi: Eh hem, Enuff Z'Nuff.
Shane: and happens to live in the Chicago area, so she joined us for the concert and before long we…
Colleen: Shane and “The Girls”.
Shane: …made our way back to the stage to wait for the show to begin. In due time, Sherrill and Susan, selling the latest in David gear showed up stage-side, and we were able to chat briefly with them as well. There are some really neat, new items being sold recently that you all should take a look at. The new silver key chain is especially nice!
Janet: Yes, as of yesterday, I am the proud owner of one of those silver key chains! They are very nice!!!!
Kimmi: Micki and I each got super-cool-totally-fantastic Monkee T's for 10 bucks I believe. Dude.
Bonnie: I never left my “chair” this time. I was hoping for some new musical releases.
Shane: The main stage presentation actually started off that night with presentations of some local scholarships (yawn...I understand the importance of honoring the local youth, but could they have found a more worse time to do this? Did they think any of us there really gave a hoot?)
Bonnie: You think that was bad, Shane. You should have sat through the introductions of local honorary dignitaries before the “Walcott Day Queen Pageant”. In fact, Hannah even reminded me it was a lot like the Arlington Heights presentations. I guess when you have a captive audience…
Shane: …But then, *the* moment had arrived, and Dave Alexander took the stage, and began the up-tempo jive on his keyboard that has begun Jones' solo shows lately, where each of the band members comes out one by one and introduces themselves. (I noticed that Aviva still plays a little bit of everything--grrrrowl!) But then, with the introductions over, David graced the stage with a huge smile that I imagine could be seen from the furthest reaches of the impressive-sized crowd. (It was the season of light.) Throughout the concert, I snuck in a couple of furtive glances Bonnie's way, and I saw, (as usual), that she was keeping diligent track of the set list, so I will let her get into those details herself.
Bonnie: I can’t help myself taking notes. You can take the secretary out of the office, but you can’t take the office out of the secretary.
Janet: Next time we bring Etch-A-Sketches or Magna-Doodles!
Bonnie: I knew we forgot something!
Shane: There are just a few things I noticed that I wanted to bring up. First, I felt very sorry for Cindy, who had to relegate herself to the side of the stage in order to stay standing up for the show, as her knees wouldn't allow her to sit on the blankets with the rest of us. I felt really bad for her...the seating for this show really sucked.
Cindy: Old age ain’t what it is cracked up to be. But it was no big deal …I hardly noticed the pain …until the show was over!
Janet: I guarantee the October show will have much better seating. Sorry Bonnie!!!
Bonnie: Unfortunately, my seat is going to be in a pew at a wedding! By the way, may I remind you, Shane, this is a family show. We don’t say that word you used above…
Shane: Even the Osbornes are a family! But I can think of other words, if ya know what I mean. Festival seating is never a picnic to begin with, and this one was even more of a hassle than usual. I trust our next show will work out much better in that regard. But as far as the concert itself goes, I was surprised and delighted to hear some new songs in the set list this summer. One of them, a Van Morrison cover, even featured Robey playing the harmonica. Nice, catchy tunes...I enjoyed hearing those. Jones also performed "Papa Gene's Blues" this night, which I hadn't heard in quite some time from him, but always does such a nice job on. Of course, there was the usual barrage of stage banter and wise cracks, including the Archie and Edith bit…
Bonnie: Hannah loved that routine. Will the real “Edith and Archie Bunker” please stand up?
Cindy: But she was disappointed that he didn’t sing “Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse!”
Bonnie: I know, but we have it on video slash CD.
Kimmi: Hannah was fantastic! She clapped and sang along to almost every song. She was smiling and hugging me the entire time. Davy's littlest biggest fan!
Shane: …as well as some mentions of what the other Monkees were up to (I appreciated the plugs for Peter's band and Micky's stint in AIDA) and even David's new grandchild as well. This was a nice, full show this time, and not an abbreviated version which we have gone through a few times before when David was on the same bill with other acts.
Bonnie: Other acts?
Bonnie: I saw the “Who” in 1982 (Hey, that rhymes!); They’re too loud!
Shane: The audience seemed very receptive and into the show. I'd be curious to know how the attendance the other nights of the festival compared to this one.
Bonnie: You mean there were other “stars” there, too?
Shane: But, all to soon as always, the familiar refrain of "Daydream Believer" began, which always signifies, for me anyway, the beginning of the end. (It was the season of darkness.) The entire audience was on its feet by this time…and so as an encore to leave ‘em dancing in the aisles, the guys topped that off with "No Time", a rare treat that we don't get to hear in concert all that often. And all of a sudden--poof--it was over. Where did the time go? Weeks and weeks of antici...pation, and all of a sudden it's over! NO! Reluctantly, we made our way to the back part of the festival grounds where chauffer Kimmi made sure that the Borgh’s, Cindy, Colleen and myself got back to the hotel in one piece before she drove her friend, Jane, home. If you're reading this, Jane, it was nice to meet you! Please come and see a show with us again!
Bonnie: Who’s Jane? I thought her name was Susan?
Cindy: It was!
Kimmi: Isn't that dumb? And unoriginal! Phllt!
Bonnie: I asked Hannah what Kimmi’s friend’s name was. She thought for a second and said, “Susan!”
Shane: I'm old, I'm tired, and I'm starting the story. Give me a break! :-) Hannah obviously has the best memory! She's gonna be my consultant on the next story! Back at the AmeriSuites, Bonnie and Hannah decided it was time to knock off for the night…
Bonnie: ...That was my thought, too, but there was a “Sponge Bob Square Pants” marathon already in progress on the Cartoon Network. I finally convinced Hannah to turn out the lights at 10:30 pm.
Shane: …but Cindy, Micki, Colleen, and I (and eventually Kimmi too, once she got back) decided that we were just a little bit *too* wired to go to bed just yet. So we watched some videos in Cindy's room (Did I mention that they have VCRs at the AmeriSuites! Oh, joy!) and ordered a pizza from some local joint that was WAAAY too big for us to manage. My share of it was still talkin' back at me well into the next day. Colleen had made some copies of a really NICE quality print of the infamous Ed Sullivan show that features David's American TV debut, as well as some 4 guys I had never heard of before from Liverpool, so we were having some fun watching that.
Colleen: Time out, Shane. It was a copy but was purchased through a TV infomercial. Are you trying to get me in trouble?
Shane: Not at all! I said "copy", not "bootleg"! Janet and Tom turned up back at the hotel to say goodnight, too, and before too long I was about ready to hit the hay myself.
Colleen: Must have been a let down sleeping in hay instead of a canopy bed. :-D
Shane: Ah, but haven't you heard? Only girls sleep in canopy beds! But just as I was opening Cindy's door, getting ready to head down the hall to my room, I quickly saw something and shut it again.
Colleen: What happened Shane, what did you see?
Shane: There was bassist, Mark Clarke, at the vending machine about two feet away. All this David talk all night, and there's his band, right there in earshot! Cindy and I, since we are so used to being up around the crack of dawn most days, were downstairs in the lobby for the continental breakfast when it opened up. Believe it or not, I was the first one downstairs for breakfast at 6 AM…
Bonnie: ...I would have been down earlier, but the sign in the lobby indicated the breakfast began at 7:00 am on weekends. Can’t anybody read? They don’t even follow their own rules!
Shane: ...but Cindy soon followed, and we were just beginning to puruse…
Colleen: Another one of Shane’s favorite words.
Shane: ....among others that I could make you very familiar with!
Bonnie: Yes, and he should not use words he cannot spell. I think he meant ‘peruse’. Do you not have spell check on your computer, young man?
Shane: …the paper for any articles or pictures from the previous evening's concert when lo and behold, (It was the spring of hope.) we were graced with the real thing right in front of us! We both said some cursory hellos to him, and as David sat down at a small, secluded table in the corner…
Bonnie: …Do you mean some little out of the way place where nobody goes?
Cindy: We were the only ones in the breakfast area. Shane was facing the doorway and I had my back to it. Suddenly Shane whispered, “Oh oh!” and I just knew. I looked up and there David stood alone…it was almost like he was waiting to be noticed. I said, “Hi David,” and he said, “Hello,” and started towards the buffet.
Shane: …Cindy nudged me and told me to run upstairs and wake Kimmi and Micki up. Cindy was especially interested in getting Micki downstairs, as it had been a great many years since she had seen him and really wanted her to have a chance to say hi to him. It was while I was doing that, that Cindy had the privilege of explaining the tree to David.
Cindy: As David passed, he thanked us for the goodies we had left for him and mentioned the “picture”. For some reason, by the way he said it, I got the feeling he did not “get” what it was. So I asked him if he understood what it meant. He gave me a quizzical glance and I explained that we had a tree planted at Digpast’s gravesite. He apparently thought we had gone to the grave ourselves and asked me if we had walked around and seen where the horse was buried. I explained further that we had not been there but, rather, had contacted the man in charge and had the tree planted with his help. David responded with, “Wonderful.” I told him that we had heard he planned to visit the grave every year on the anniversary of Digpast’s death, and we wanted to make sure he had a nice shady tree to sit under when he did. David shook his head while pondering this and said, “You guys are really something.” He, then, told me how he had a piece of Digpast’s mane cut off and he carries it with him. I think that says a lot about how he felt about the horse.
Bonnie: It’s kind of like how you snip slash save the first lock of your child’s hair.
Shane: Meanwhile…I had made a mad dash back up to our floor to try and roust the "living dead" Jones’ fans in Cindy's room. One series of knocks. Nothing. Another knock on the door. Nothing. I tried yelling from out in the hall, remembered that half the band was probably within earshot of my antics and cursed myself, and tried knocking again. Nada. (It was the winter of despair.) I was just about to head to my room in order to try using the phone when Micki, half asleep and probably wondering where the heck she was, finally answered the door. I tried to explain to her that David was downstairs right now, and if she wanted her chance to say hi to him before the place got busy, that she had to get her butt down there pronto. Confused and befuddled, she followed me to the elevator and came downstairs. I imagine that when she pictured herself meeting David again, it would certainly not be like this! But the rest, as Dolenz would say, is a hysterectomy!
Bonnie: I thought his line was, “It’s not brain surgery!”
Cindy: Well, Bonnie in all fairness a hysterectomy is NOT brain surgery, is it?!
Bonnie: Let me see. The head bone’s connected to the neck bone, the neck bone’s connected to the shoulder bone…
Shane: The rest of the morning, prior to our leaving anyway, was pure bliss. David was a table away having breakfast, chatting with us on occasion, the rest of the Gang showed up…
Cindy: One by one the Gang showed up for breakfast. Micki got her few minutes to say hi and was walking on air. David signed a photo of her and him when she had last seen him (she was 9 then, now she is 18), Bonnie explained more about the tree and showed him the rest of the photos. Even Bonnie’s father-in-law spoke with David, of course they talked about the track and horse racing.
Bonnie: Believe it or not, Grandpa Borgh thought “Davy Jones” was a pretty down-to-earth guy. He never understood why his wife (Grandpa Borgh) always liked Frank Sinatra. Perhaps he had an opportunity to see the “flip side” of entertainers.
Colleen: Hey Bonnie, thanks for the phone call!
Bonnie: You’re welcome. It’s all a part of the Emergency Response Plan.
Janet: Trust me, when you don’t listen to yourself and continue to snooze, you DO lose!!!
Shane: …eventually, as did Sherrill and Susan, and all of the band members, so very quickly breakfast turned into a great little get-together between friends and acquaintances. (We had everything before us.) We even enjoyed some of the local sights as we gazed out the window (slash) admired the fashion statements (slash) and sung a few verses of "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes".
Bonnie: I thought we were singing “Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room”…
Shane: (We had nothing before us.) After a while, David left to do a radio interview over the phone, and the next time that we saw him, he had luggage in tow, and was getting ready to leave on a waiting limo parked patiently outside. That made me glad that we had the time with him earlier on that we did, as people were starting to wake up around this time, and there was one particular man (I shall not get into specifics, as I certainly *never* hold a grudge--razza frazzin, bleepity bleep) who was following David around like a hawk and just wouldn't let him have a moment's peace. I can only imagine how people like that must get on his nerves. But Jones *did* stop by our little gathering on his way out the door to say goodbye to all of us…
Colleen: The Girls. Oh my, Girl took on a new meaning for me, boy look what you’ve done to me…
Janet: ...with your SMILE, you did it ….
Shane: …mentioned that he was heading home to PA for a couple of days, and that he looked forward to seeing all of us again the next time around. And with that, he was gone...most of the band was still mulling about the lobby and whatnot, but as B.B. King put it--the thrill is gone, baby.
Cindy: When he was gone Sherrill Sunseri came in and asked me if he had come back in to say goodbye after packing his luggage into the car. I told her he had and she said that when he had finished loading the car David had announced that he was going back in to say goodbye to “The Girls.” And what a goodbye it was. There were probably 30 people in the room by this time. Only a handful was actually fans, the rest were simply hotel guests. No one with a camera or asking for autographs (only one who was a pain, right Shanie?)
Shane: Oy vey!
Cindy: It was like he was holding court. No one was talking or eating, they were too busy listening to David, politely from their seats and tables. Before he left he gave Micki a huge hug and almost called her Tiffany …she says with a smile he can call her anything! As soon as he left a woman at the next table jumped up and ran over to us excitedly asking if THAT was DAVY JONES! I smiled and said yes it was. She was all a flutter and her husband, at the next table, grinned saying he remembered him from the Monkees. They hadn’t known anything about the show but had been in town for a wedding. I have no doubt they spent the rest of the day calling everyone they knew to tell them they had stayed in the same hotel as THE Davy Jones.
Shane: Reluctantly, Janet and Tom left for home, and in short order, we started packing things up ourselves.
As I was heading past the front desk to get a luggage cart to bring up to Cindy's room, I stopped and talked with Sherrill and Susan a bit longer, who are always so nice to be around. It certainly had been a long weekend for them. Arlington Heights was their third show in as many days that spanned just about half of the United States, so they were certainly suffering from that Oriental disease known as "dragon a$$", but it was great to hear what they had been up to, and moreover, to hear how Barry
Bonnie: Isn’t he the one who wrote the songs? Perhaps it was Gibb.
Shane: Whitwam, you nuts! ....how he and the Hermits were doing in the UK, as Peter No-one has been pretty good at keeping them at bay here in the USA for quite some time now, sadly.
Once we got Cindy squared away in her room, I figured that it was time to get myself situated for my return trip home. Since Arlington Heights is relatively close to downtown Chicago, I spared myself the added expense of having to take the bus home from the Quad Cities, so I had the front desk call me a cab that would be able to get me to the downtown area. I never thought in my wildest dreams that one would be available as quickly as it was...I was rather shocked when the front desk attendant told me that the cab would be there in five minutes!
Colleen: I guess cabs aren’t quite that fast up there in the Nort country, aye?
Shane: No, Colleen, we're too busy with our kettles of fish and our canopy beds. So, as hurriedly as I could,
Colleen: I hope you didn’t trip over anything as I wasn’t there to say goodbye.
Shane: I got my things together, and just as I was saying goodbye to Cindy, there was my ride. Unfortunately, everybody else was back in their own rooms getting their own packing done, so nobody but Cindy knew that I was gone until after I left! I feel really bad about that too--honest!
Kimmi: Uh, yeah. I'm sorry I missed ya but these darn wonderful memories keep getting in the way of my guilt.
Bonnie: Sure you do! At least David took the time to say “Goodbye” to “The Girls” before he left!
Cindy: I guess we know who really loves us, huh, Bonnie!
Shane: But as luck would have it, my timing that morning couldn't have been any better. I got to the Greyhound station in downtown Chicago just as a bus to Milwaukee was getting ready to leave, and from there it was just another short little ride back to Oshkosh. I don't think I was in one place for any more than 15 minutes at a stretch on the way back....I even beat Cindy and Kimmi back to Muscatine! (That'll never happen again!) I did have a chance to say my goodbyes to most of the Gang on the cell phone as I was on the bus…
Bonnie: I’m still waiting…563 332-9259.
Shane: headed towards Milwaukee. It was such an eventful weekend, and it ended on such a positive note, that it was really a shame to see it end. (We were all going direct to Heaven.)
Bonnie: Will you be waiting for us at the gates of heaven, too?
Shane: I just hope that we can have just as many great memories in the trips yet to come as we have had on this one, and those that have come before it ....I gotta tell you folks, it was certainly some sort of culture shock to go from eating breakfast with all of my friends and Davy Jones that morning, to eating cold leftovers from the fridge, all by lonesome, back at home later that night. Where Did It All Go????
Colleen: The ride back to the Quad-Cities was uneventful. Micki and I had the whole backseat to ourselves. Thanks Shane! We only got lost once but not by too many miles. Kimmi thanks again for driving. It was great getting together with all of you again. Micki it was nice to finally get to meet you after all these years. Janet and Tom, so nice to meet you both. It turns out that I won’t be able to make the show in October. I forgot about a business trip to Orlando. I am bummed to say the least.
Cindy: Such a let down, wasn’t it!
Bonnie: You’re bummed, Colleen! My girlfriend’s daughter is getting married up in the Twin Cities on Saturday, October 18. She knows I’m totally joking, but I told her I might be crying at Tracy’s wedding, but it will be because I’m missing the concert!
Kimmi: I'm going to be in Florida and I'll be snapping at poor Kevin and crying at the drop of a hat and he won't have a clue!
Shane: Of course, I want to thank everyone who made the trip a success--The Borgh’s, (Bonnie, Craig--you couldn't have picked a better place to stay!, Hannah and Grandpa), Cindy, Colleen, Kimmi, Micki, Janet and Tom, Jane…
Shane: Jane/Susan…the Hercules gals--Sherrill and Susan, Jim Carey for making "Bruce Almighty" and providing us with that great jazz music,
Kimmi: Most importantly The Olive Garden, Whitey's, Frontier Days cotton candy and icey's, Aunt Bonnie's home cooking................
Shane: and of course, David, and all of his crew for making this 4th of July weekend something that will be very hard to ever forget. Thank you guys so much! I love you all! And, oh yes... have I forgotten "we were all going direct the other way"? Nah! There's always next time! Peace everyone!
Bonnie: I think the line is: “Peace and love and everything else!”
Kimmi: And candy.
Cindy: What they said!
Until our next adventure…..”Happy Trails” from the PFG Road Crew…